By: Justin Dade – UWEC Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The No. 7 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire men's hockey team earned a much-needed conference win over the UW-Superior Yellowjackets on Saturday night behind a strong third period showing.
After settling for an unsatisfying tie with UW-Stout on Thursday night, the Blugolds got back on track with a big 5-2 win led by another three-point game from Adam Knochenmus (Jr. – Roseau, MN).
It didn't take long for the Blugolds to get on the board in this one, as Jake Hopfner (So. Eastpointe, MI) found the back of the net just 38 seconds into the game assisted by Knochenmus to take the early 1-0 lead.
The Blugolds played the rest of the first period rather strong finishing with a 13-7 edge in shots on goal.
The Yellowjackets tied it up 5:42 into the second period on a shorthanded goal scored by Daniel Litchke.
UW-Superior took the lead 2-1 about nine minutes later on a goal scored by Anton Svensson.
Just when it looked like the Yellowjackets were going to take the momentum into the locker room after a very strong second period, the Blugolds got an answer from the team's leading scorer.
With just 1:14 left in the second, Knochenmus put home his 17th goal of the season this time coming on the power play assisted by Garret Clemment (Jr. – Wausau, WI) and captain Jeffrey Pauluk (Sr. – Bloomington, MN).
That goal from Knochenmus proved to be huge as the Blugolds turned their offensive firepower loose in the final period scoring three more goals to run away with the victory.
UW-Eau Claire cashed in on another power-play opportunity with 9:10 left in the game as Patrick Moore (Jr. – Grand Rapids, MN) gave the Blugolds a 3-2 lead on a goal assisted by Knochenmus and Clemment.
Todd Koritzinsky (So. – Verona, WI) added the two final goals for the Blugolds with the first coming about two minutes after Moore's goal assisted by Pauluk and Colton Wolter (So. – Fairbanks, AK). Koritzinsky then sealed the victory with an empty-net goal with just seven seconds left to improve the Blugolds' conference record to 3-2-1 on the season.
Goaltender Tyler Green (Sr. Noblesville, IN) was strong for the Blugolds on the night saving 27 of the 29 Yellowjacket shots on goal. With this win, the senior netminder will improve his season record to 9-4-2.
The Blugolds (13-5-3, 3-2-1 WIAC) will be back in action next weekend as they head out west for their first ever out-of-division series with the Arizona State Sun Devils. Both games will be played in Tempe, AZ and will start at 8 p.m. central time on Friday and Saturday.